By Joelle Cheong (13A03A) and Natalie Lim (13A01C)
“Clear eyes, full hearts.” Coach Ben’s words stayed with the Frisbee team through the 2012 Inter-JC tournaments. Clear eyes – to discern the situation and act accordingly, and full hearts to leave the field with no regrets.
A year of hardcore trainings, free moments spent practicing throws in the amphitheatre and imagining plays in our heads culminated in the Inter-JC tournament, the pinnacle of every Raffles Ultimate member’s journey.
Things were not going as planned. Both teams, Team A comprising the J2 batch, and Team B the J1 batch, were fighting hard in the semi-finals, which we had expected to be a breeze. However, we had begun the game trailing SAJC. 0-1, 0-2, 1-2, 1-3, 2-3, 3-3, 4-3. Our teams were side-by-side on neighbouring fields, the players as well as the supporters who stood back-to-back, cheering for Raffles Ultimate. Just before time, both teams drew with their opponents. Both games now rested on the universal point, where the next team to score the next point would win.
The first shock of the day came when Team B fell to SAJC due to one unexpected catch by the opponent team. Tears were shed but hopes remained buoyant for Team A to continue on to the finals.
Throw. Foul. Disc goes back. Throw. Injury sub. Disc goes back. The same cycle repeated itself for more than 5 minutes as Team A battled right outside the ACS(I) endzone.
Turnover. Huck. Catch. Score.
The Raffles sidelines went silent.
And then the tears came. So many ’What if’s, so many ’’If only’s, so many ‘I should have’s. But it was too late. This deciding match had put the 2 RI teams into 3rd and 4th place, but we had a final match to determine our placings in the tournament.
When the horn sounded to commence game-play, both our teams were still extremely down in spirit. However, Team B decided that they would ensure Team A’s final tournament game be one they would not forget. The game began, and both teams fought hard. On the last point, we did something that no team has done before in the history of InterJC- everyone got on to the field. That final point was one that will remain vividly in the minds of Raffles Ultimate ‘12. Both teams linked arms and that was truly the defining moment of Raffles Ultimate- not the victory, but the fact that this family, our Raffles Ultimate family, was together.
Raffles has always enjoyed a reputation for winning, with 27 golds at the National Inter-school Championships this year as testimony. Raffles Ultimate is no exception. We have savoured the victories brought home by our seniors through the years. This year’s InterJC tournament was truly a humbling experience for all those who had turned up on the fields to support Raffles. It has redefined what it means to be a Raffles athlete – it’s not about the gold or the bragging rights, but the camaraderie shared after enduring trainings, punishments and even defeat with your team.
“Clear eyes, full hearts”. Coach Ben’s words resonate loud and strong in the hearts of every Raffles Ultimate player. We will clear our eyes of the tears of regret and disappointment from the outcome of this year’s competition and fill our hearts full with resolve to bring back the title.
For our seniors who didn’t get their fairytale ending. For the coach that did not give up on us despite our loss. For the team who is family to each and every one of us. Raffles Ultimate will work towards bringing back the gold – with clear eyes, with full hearts. Count on it.